The Ford government has announced that Ontario’s mask mandate will be lifted as of March 21, but Humber students who are back on campus have mixed feelings about the decision.
“It’s okay. It seems like everything is back to normal,” Priscalla Powdar, a Biotechnology program student said. “It’s a relief because I usually can’t breathe in these things but it’s great.”
So far, Humber’ has yet to announce anything regarding lifting the mask mandate on campus, and will still have COVID-19 restrictions in place for staff and students.
“The vaccination mandate remains in place and that will remain in place until at least the end of the winter term,” Emily Milic, Humber’s PR and Communications Manager said.
Students said they are excited to be back but also nervous to let their masks down.
“I am a little bit worried but considering how everything has settled down, I’m not too worried,” Victor Chen, a Business student at Guelph-Humber said.
“I’m excited to be going back to normal,” said Kylie Lenartowicz, who is a part of the Bachelor of Design program.
“At the same time there is still this nervousness because it’s been so long since wearing this mask, it’s kind of like ‘what is gonna happen when we take them off?’” she said.
“I’m not going to take my mask off, but when I am alone I will take it off, but not around the campus,” Muskan Sra, a Business administration program student said, adding she’ll keep wearing her mask “just for my own safety like in a class or walking around the campus.”
Humber College lifted social distancing restrictions on campus in January and allows 100 per cent capacity for all on-campus programs.
“In terms of anything else on campus, there is still enhanced cleaning protocols and certainly other health and safety that have been placed throughout the pandemic as well,” Milic added.
Other students who were interviewed felt that, although masks are being lifted, people should still continue to wear them in other public or crowded spaces and to feel safe around others.
“I feel like it has come to that point and I feel like it’s a good time for that,” Russell Foster, an HVAC technician said, “but just because the mandate has been lifted doesn’t mean that you have to stop wearing masks,” he said.
“It’s up to personal preference, but if you still want to socially distance yourself and wear a mask if that’s what you are comfortable doing. You can freely continue to do that as long as people are respectful and understand boundaries.”